In Elite Daily's series Chef's Kiss, we taste the latest food and drink trends to help you figure out which ones you definitely don’t want to sleep on. In this piece, we taste Salt & Straw’s “Veggies You Crave” Ice Cream.
You might believe you have to eat your veggies before you can have dessert, but Salt & Straw’s latest collection of ice cream flavors will make you think twice about that. The ice cream company’s lineup of vegetable-inspired ice cream flavors, called Veggies You Crave, includes five familiar flavors with a twist, and I got to preview the unique desserts to see how they stack up against the real stuff. If you’re wondering what Salt & Straw’s vegetable ice cream tastes like, this review has everything you need to know. (Spoiler alert: your greens have never tasted better.)
Salt & Straw’s Veggies You Crave ice cream lineup, which was announced on Instagram on Aug. 5, offers five one-of-a-kind flavors that might make you scratch your head at first. But once you get a taste, you might count one of these distinctive bites as a new favorite. The flavors inspired by summer veggies include:
- Carrot Cake Batter With Pralined Hazelnuts
- Spinach Cake With Tahini Chocolate Fudge
- Green Fennel & Maple
- Red Chili Curry & Makrut Lime Crispy Rice
- Charred Corn Curd, Cotija, & Tajin
You can pick up a cone of your Veggies You Crave flavor of choice in-stores now, or scoop up (pun intended) all five pints online for $85 (shipping included). Of course, that’s a pretty hefty price tag for ice cream, so you should probably know what you’re getting into before you add to cart. Here’s what you need to know about the speciality flavors, from a certified picky eater herself.
Red Chili Curry & Makrut Lime Crispy Rice
This ice cream blends red chilis, lemongrass, ginger, and Southeast Asian curries, all roasted together with a splash of makrut lime and mixed into coconut cream. I was only able to detect a slight lime fragrance, which I thought would have been stronger. The lime flavor and the crispy rice gave me serious Tostitos Hint of Lime vibes, but I didn’t mind it. Though the chili flakes are definitely visible — and the ice cream has a zesty pinkish-red pigmentation to it — the lime remains the most consistent flavor of them all as you eat. It’s a good choice for a refreshing dessert, and it’s also the vegan option of the group.
Spinach Cake With Tahini Chocolate Fudge
This flavor has the spinach baked into a golden-green cake and topped with chocolate frosting before being crumbled together into a vanilla ice cream and tahini fudge mixture. TBH, the scoops don’t have much of a scent and look a lot like vanilla ice cream.
Don’t let the spinach scare you away, because the vegetable blends so seamlessly into the vanilla that I couldn’t even taste it — you wouldn’t even know it was there aside from the hints of green. The fudge chunks made for a nice texture, and pretty much do all the heavy lifting for the flavor. It’s perfect for those who like chocolate, but don’t want to overdo it.
Green Fennel & Maple
Sweet meets savory, thanks to this delicious ice cream base that’s made from a fennel plant, roasted seeds, and juiced leaves, and steeped in fennel pollen and maple syrup. As someone who grew up with real Vermont maple syrup on my pancakes, the on-point maple scent was a welcome surprise. At first bit, I was taken aback by how smoky the flavor is, but the sweetness is still there. It reminded me of the taste of authentic, unprocessed maple syrup straight from the tree tap. Fall lovers, this is for you.
Carrot Cake Batter With Pralined Hazelnuts
This carrot cake flavor tastes like batter right out of the mixer. It has spiced molasses, a swirl of cheesecake frosting, sugar-coated, slow-roasted carrots, and candied hazelnuts. I was instantly hit with the familiar scent of carrot cake and cinnamon. All the flavors are recognizable within the first bite, making this flavor the first of the lineup to actually live up to its name.
The true carrot cake flavor came through first, followed by a subtle hint of cinnamon and the much-needed crunch of the hazelnuts. It’s hard not to get nostalgic for a homemade cake after just one bite.
Charred Corn Curd, Cotija, & Tajin
Inspired by the Mexican dish, this flavor is made with freshly charred corn to bring out the toasty flavor notes before it’s been blended it into a corn curd and ribboned into a house-made mayo ice cream with a touch of lime and tajin, before adding the fresh cotija cheese on top.
The Charred Corn Curd flavor was definitely a ride — right away, the scent was a little off-putting. Tajin seasonings and charred corn give the ice cream an odd texture, but by far the weirdest thing about it is the flavor. Unfortunately, I’d compare the ice cream’s taste to an expired cheesecake (I’m sorry!). There isn’t much sweetness at all to counteract the sour flavors, and even as a cheese lover myself this one finds itself at the very bottom of my list.
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The company really managed to make some dessert magic happen with these veggie-inspired bites. They might not have all been a hit with my taste buds, but hey — four out of five ain’t bad. If I’m picking a winner, though, it’s gotta be the carrot cake.
Salt & Straw’s Veggies You Crave lineup is available through Sept. 2, and it’s definitely worth checking out, especially if you need a break from your same old ice cream flavors.